2017-05-19 / Top Stories

BCVFD Remembers Chief Hoobs On 100th Anniversary

By Angelica Katz


Early photo of the original Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department constructed by Chief Hoobs. Early photo of the original Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department constructed by Chief Hoobs. Almost a hundred years ago, Christian Hoobs (pronounced “Hubs”), Chief of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department sat down at his self-owned Hoobs’ Pavilion, eating a corned beef sandwich, when he was called to respond to a fire in Broad Channel on June 14, 1917.

Without hesitation, Chief Hoobs and his firefighters sprinted to the firehouse on Noel Road to grab a seesaw-like cart with a hose on reels that would pump water from the bay to put out the fire on a nearby houseboat. That was the evening, Chief Hoobs sacrificed his life in the line of duty.

While it is still not clear how he died, it is known that he died in the line of duty. Chief Hoobs’ obituary was found in a Wave Newspaper dated June 15, 1917, and resurrected by Deputy Chief Wilmarth III and the other firefighters of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department. “He was only 48 years old when he died and his wake and service were held in the same firehouse we have today,” said Wilmarth III. Hoobs was not only the Chief of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department, but a “master builder” in Broad Channel’s beginning. He played a large role in building Broad Channel into the community that it is today, including constructing the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire House and St. Virgilius Church. Also, the Hoobs Pavilion served as a dance hall and hotel for tourists and locals back when there were no bridges to Broad Channel.


A replica of Chief Hoobs’ badge. A replica of Chief Hoobs’ badge. For the 100th year anniversary of his death in honor of his service to the community and for paying the ultimate sacrifice, the firehouse has decided to dedicate a portion of Church Road to his name. On May 10, Community Board 14 voted unanimously to approve the street renaming for Chief Hoobs. While it will still have to be voted on at Queens Borough Hall this November, it has the full support of the Community Board and the Broad Channel Civic Association. “Chief Hoobs is one of the founding members of our firehouse in Broad Channel, said Wilmarth III. “Back then they didn’t think about street renamings, but today if a Chief of any department died in the line of duty, there would be a memorial for them. This recognition for his sacrifice is long overdue.”



Chief Christian Hoobs with his wife. Chief Christian Hoobs with his wife.

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Very nice story Angelica!

Very nice story Angelica!


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